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Imagine you are 65 and approaching retirement. As you look back on your career, what list of accomplishments would want to list for yourself? Hopefully you have made the types of money that you wanted. And hopefully you have built hundreds of relationships some of which continue as friendships after retirement. But what are the things you would want your CEO to mention when he/she speaks at your retirement dinner?

Are there awards, publications or other achievements that you want to claim in your bio? If the answer is “yes” then maybe it is time to create your career “Bucket List.” You may already have a personal Bucket List that outlines all the places you want to visit or experiences you want to have before you die. A Career Bucket List is similar, but outlines all the accomplishments you want to have before you retire.


For example, CEO and CFO types might have set of financial goals. I want to have raised at least $50M in venture capital. Or I want to build a startup that grows to at least $100M in annual revenues. Or I want to participate in an Initial Public Offering that raises at least $1 billion.

Sales leaders might have a different set of ambitions.  I want to my first $1M W-2 before I turn 30.  I want to go to 20 different President’s Clubs on at least four continents.  I want to visit the headquarters of at least half the Fortune 500 companies before retiring.

Similarly, software developers might have a different set of ambitions.  I want to file my first patent before age 25.  Or I want to start an Open Source project that gets more than 100,000 contributors.  Or I want to create a mobile app for Android that gets 1 million downloads.

But what about marketing professionals in the technology sector. What should be on their career bucket list?

Product and Industry Marketing types focused on thought leadership might include:

  • I want to publish a book.
  • I want to give a speech at a TED conference.
  • I want to deliver keynote presentations to an audience of 10,000 people.
  • I want to write an editorial for the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.
  • I want to be interviewed on CNBC or Bloomberg TV.
  • I want to be profiled in Fast Company, Forbes or Inc Magazine.

Content Marketers might have social media metrics on their bucket list:

  • I want to publish 1,000 blog posts.
  • I want to get 100,000 followers (non-paid) on Twitter.
  • I want to get 10,000 connections on LinkedIn.
  • I want to publish a viral video that gets 1 million views on YouTube.
  • I want to be retweeted by an Internet Celebrity like Marc Benioff, Steve Case or Elon Musk.
  • I want my blog to be commented on by a social media God like Seth Godin.

Public and Analyst Relations types might have awards and other public trophies on their bucket list:

  • I want to get front page coverage in the “Business” section of the New York Times, Washington Post or Financial Times
  • I want to win a prestigious industry award like the Mashies, SoMe or Shortys
  • I want to have Forrester write a case study about our analyst relations program
  • I want to be LinkedIn to 50% of the analysts at Gartner

What’s on your bucket list?

Steve Keifer

Steve Keifer has led marketing and product management teams at seven different SaaS and cloud providers ranging from venture-backed, early-stage startups to multi-billion, publicly traded companies - including several that experienced hypergrowth, filed IPOs, and reached unicorn status. In Bantrr, Steve shares many of the best practices and lessons learned from building and scaling marketing organizations. Topics include new category creation, brand development, and demand generation.

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